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Sunday, December 25, 2016
The WND-ization of the MRC, Part 87
Topic: CNSNews.com

Nominee Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, not only has been supportive of the abortion industry, through his company’s donations to abortionists, but also played a key role in opening the Boy Scouts to homosexuality.

Those accomplishments have left Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council appalled at the idea of Tillerson continuing the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda outlined by Hillary Clinton and followed by John Kerry at the State Department.

[...]

“The left, which doesn’t usually need a reason to oppose Trump’s choices, won’t find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas,” Perkins said.

“That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who’ve spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality,” Perkins continued.

-- Bob Unruh, Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily article

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, lobbied for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to change its rules on youth membership and allow homosexuals to join the organization, according to the Dallas Morning News.

[...]

Commenting on Tillerson as Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “The Left, which doesn't usually need a reason to oppose Trump's choices, won't find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas.”

“That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who've spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality,” said Perkins.

-- Michael W. Chapman, Dec. 15 CNSNews.com article

(This is the second time this month that CNS has seemingly picked up a story from WND.)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:54 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 26, 2016 10:34 AM EST
Newsmax's Ruddy -- A Trump Buddy -- Is Concerned About Anti-Trump Media Coverage
Topic: Newsmax

A Dec. 19 Newsmax article summarizes its boss' appearance on CNN:

The news media was biased in its coverage of Donald Trump and that partiality had a bigger impact on the election than any "fake news," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy told Brian Stelter Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"You guys had a responsibility to give fair and balanced news," Ruddy said in his one-on-one segment with host Stelter.

"Instead the mainstream press focused on Trump's use of Twitter and the release of an audio recording on 'Access Hollywood.' The voters in Ohio and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they were worried about jobs and trade.

"Donald Trump, to his credit, was in those states talking about those issues. You guys missed the story."

Ruddy said the media continues to be critical of Trump, focusing on stories like fake news and Russian hacking.

"I don’t think they’re necessarily giving him a complete fair shake," he said.

In that segment, however, Ruddy doesn't really discuss his own "responsibility to give fair and balanced news," as if conservative news outlets are exempt from responsible journalism. He said only that Newsmax will grow its online and video operations during the Trump presidency and that Newsmax "is going to be tough on Trump when we think he's going off the rails on policy issues," but he made it clear that his news operation will be "supportive" of him overall. IN other words. he's demanding more balance from his competition than from his own operation.

Ruddy also didn't explicitly disclose how close he and Trump are, or that Newsmax played a major role in legitimizing the idea of Trump as presidential timber. Ineeed, the day after his CNN appearance, he tweeted: "Just finished Newsmax Christmas @ 230 Fifth, Pres. Trump called my cell at party wishing 'Merry Xmas' - @realDonaldTrump is not happy w CNN!"

Ruddy then repeated how a study (he incorrectly claimed it was from the Pew Center; it was actually done by the Freedom Forum) from the 1990s reported that "89 percent of the people voted for Bill Clinton -- of the press corps in Washington voted for Bill Clinton." We documented way back in 2000 how skewed that study was; most study respondents weren't from national news outlets but from small regional papers whose Washington bureau reporters, some of whom are just one person, focus their coverage mostly on local issues and have no influence on the national political agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 PM EST
Saturday, December 24, 2016
CNS Censors Biased Nature of Anti-Abortion Poll
Topic: CNSNews.com

Lauretta Brown writes in a Nov. 21 CNSNews.com article:

A poll released Friday by the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) shows that a majority of voters, 64%, support legislation such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would prohibit abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The poll was commissioned by the SBA List and conducted by the polling company, inc./WomanTrend.

What Brown doesn't report: The Susan B. Anthony List is an anti-abortion group, and the polling company (lowercase is cq) is operated by Kellyanne Conway, manager for Donald Trump's presidential campaign and works on behalf of right-wing causes. Indeed, Conway's firm cashed in big during the 2016 campaign even before she joined Trump's team through her company's work for the campaigns of both Trump and Ted Cruz.

That ideological bent makes the poll  results unreliable since we can assume that the questions were skewed to provide the desired result.

Brown goes on to tout that "The results mirror a Marist poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus in July." The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal orghanization that reflects Catholic tenets, one of which is opposition to abortion. Marist College, which operates a polling center that the K of C utlized, is a Catholic university; while its polling generally has a good reputation, one cannot discount the possibility of skewing questions to achieve desired results.

Indeed, CNS regularly promotes polls conducted by Marist-K of C since they provide results they like to push on its readers. Most recently, Brown used a Dec. 23 article to tout a Marist-K of C poll finding that "Americans prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’ by 20 percentage points."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EST
WND Columnist Spins for Flynns Over Pizzagate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has commendably stayed away from buying into the "Pizzagate" hoax -- on the news side, anyway. WND's columnists, however, are a different story. We've documented how WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson promoted the story as if it was credible.

In his Dec. 8 WND column, Jeff Roorda admits Pizzagate is fake news, but he labors heavily to distance national security adviser-designate Michael Flynn and his son from accusations they promoted the story:

Most recently, media outlets have been atwitter with reports about the firing of Michael G. Flynn from the Trump transition team for his role in the “pizzagate” fake news story.

Gasp!

The only problem is that Flynn appears to have had nothing to do with debuting or spreading the “pizzagate” story. In fact, the tweet that has everyone lathered-up attributed to Flynn (this is the younger Flynn, by the way, not to be confused with his father, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who President-elect Trump has tapped to serve as his national security adviser) innocently pointed out, “Until #Pizzagate (is) proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.”

What, exactly, is wrong with that statement?

Isn’t it more social commentary or an observation about the nature of the Twittersphere than it is scandal-mongering of some fraudulent, unfounded narrative?

Even though so-called mainstream media outlets – including the New York Times – reported that Flynn was fired from the Trump transition team for “using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington,” the plain facts seem to tell us that Flynn did not spread the story but rather commented on it’s miasmal nature and that his actions did not lead to the armed confrontation and that he was NOT fired from the Trump transition team because he was never on the Trump transition team.

Talk about your fake news!

The actual facts of the case, according to the Washington Post: The elder Flynn did tweet about "New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!" but did not specifically reference Pizzagate -- there are other sex crime-related conspiracy theories about the Clintons that Flynn sorta gets a pass on, but only sorta because his Twitter feed is filled with fake news.

Roorda also leaves out the last part of the younger Flynn's tweet, which reads in whole: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it." Flynn's evidence that Pizzagate might be true are the purported "coincidences" in the emails stolen from John Podesta, which nobody has proven true. That's much more than a comment on its "miasmal nature."

If Pizzagate hasn't been proven true, it should presume to be false. Flynn should know that, and Roorda should not give him the benefit of the doubt.

It's unclear whether or not the younger Flynn was officially on the payroll of the Trump transition team -- he was assisting his father with administrative and scheduling duties-- but the statement from the transition team that he was "no longer involved" with the transition after the tweet went viral indicates some sort of official role from which he was removed. And he apparently he resigned before he was fired, possibly seconds before.

The rest of Roorda's column is dedicated to telling us that "no matter where you get your news, it’s filtered, spun, or embellished," and that "it’s incumbent on you to decide what is and isn’t fake."

We've just done that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EST
Friday, December 23, 2016
MRC Takes War-On-Christmas Shot at Univision
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently, the "War on Christmas" has ended because Donald Trump was elected president. That's the message MRC Latino's Jorge Bonilla seems to be imparting in a Dec. 16 post, in which he's mad that Univision failed to follow the implicit Trump edict that only "Merry Christmas" is permitted by not saying it in its annual holiday video:

Univision continues its gallant resistance against the seismic results of this election. As Donald Trump declares that "It is OK to say Merry Christmas again", Univision responds with a holiday video that bravely transcends "Merry Christmas" and even refuses to wish you "Happy Holidays".

[...]

But this is 2016, and we are talking about Univision. So bound is the network to political correctness that "Merry Christmas" is a non-starter, and "Happy Holidays" is an impossibly heavy lift. And so it is that we end up with the best that Univision can muster this year, "Mejores Deseos (Best Wishes)". The full subtitled video is available here, one minute and 43 seconds of anodyne ambiguous-holiday-flavored treacle that makes Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" look like Handel's Messiah in comparison. In fact, "Mejores Deseos" is what you'd probably be left with if you stripped Christmas out of "Wonderful Christmastime".

In and of itself, this video provides a perfect snapshot of the manner in which Univision continues to lose touch with its traditional audience while pursuing the clicks and page views of the "rising American majority". 

Actually, only 29 percent of Hispanics -- near as we can tell, Univision's target audience -- voted for Trump; some argued that Latino support for Trump was less than that. So it's unclear that what Univision chooses to include in its holiday message is an issue for anyone besides right-wingers like Bonilla who get paid to bash Univision.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EST
CNS' Jones Plays Stenographer to Distract from Russian Meddling
Topic: CNSNews.com

WorldNetDaily's not the only ConWeb outlet trying to give Donald Trump -- and Russia -- a pass on allegations Russia meddled in the presidential election to boost Trump. CNSNews.com's Susan Jones is taking a crack at it as well.

On Dec. 19, Jones churned out a couple of stenography specials to try and deflect attention from the growing scandal:

  • Jones dutifully transcribed Reince Priebus spinning: "Even this question is insane. Of course we didn't interface with the Russians. I mean, this whole thing is a spin job. And I think what the Democrats ought to do is look in the mirror and face the reality that they lost the election. And they lost the election because they're so and completely out of touch with the American people that they're so shell-shocked and they can't believe it."
  • Jones also transcribed John McCain saying, in her words, that there's no reason to think that Russian activity changed the outcome of the election.
  • Then, on Dec. 20, Jones played stenographer for Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher actually excusing Russian meddling in the form of stealing emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign because "The e-mails were factual, and thus the American people, it did not hurt the American people to have more factual information available to them."

Jones, meanwhile, skewed her transcription job on Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta discussing the issue, framing it as him evading a question on whether he thought the election was "free and fair."

Jones, of course, is known for her stenography for Trump and for her snide skewing of the news regarding non-conservatives.

Jones even gave space to someone she identified only as a "Russian reporter named Andre" slagging President Obama in a Dec. 16 article:

A Russian reporter named Andre challenged President Obama's leadership Thursday, running down a list of problems that have worsened on Obama's watch, including relations with Russia and racial tensions in America. "Does he feel any responsibility for all this?" the reporter asked.

Jones undoubtedly approve of the reporter's attack on Obama. If he was saying the same thing about Trump, it would never make the CNS front page.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EST
WND Warns of Muslim 'Overthrow' of Trump -- But Farah Prayed for Obama's Death
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer was in full pro-Trump -- and anti-Muslim -- mode in a Dec. 18 article:

While the Council on American-Islamic Relations likes to bill itself as a Muslim “civil-rights organization,” it downplays its direct ties to the terrorist group Hamas, its lineage to the Muslim Brotherhood and its extremist history that includes dozens of its executives, board members’ and staffers’ indictments, convictions and prison sentences for terror-related crimes.

But sometimes CAIR leadership lets its guard down.

That’s what happened, apparently, in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, right after the election of Donald Trump as president became clear.

Hussam Ayloush, the long-time director of CAIR-Los Angeles, Tweeted out the following message:

“Ok, repeat after me:
“Al-Shaab yureed isqat al-nizaam.
“(Arab Spring chant)”

The second line in Arabic translates to “The people want to bring down the regime.”

“In other words, Ayloush unambiguously and directly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government,” observes scholar Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum.

The "threat" here is rather laughable when you consider WND has effectively been calling for the overthrow of President Obama for the past eight years. And it's done worse.

In November 2009, WND editor Joseph Farah began one of his many, many anti-Obama columns with  a segment of Psalm 109: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."

Now, Farah probably wants you think that's benign -- a 2011 WND article mocked the idea that it could be considered a threat to Obama -- but as we noted, a full reading of that psalm continues:

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

In other words, not benign. Farah clearly is wishing Obama a very severe sort of ill will, if not his death, by invoking that psalm.

We get the feeling we're going to be spending a lot of time pointing out whenever WND whines about something happening to Trump that it did or tried to do something equivalent to Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Thursday, December 22, 2016
MRC's Right-Wing Movie Critic Still Can't Accept All-Female 'Ghostbusters'
Topic: Media Research Center

Several months after it was released, the Media Research Center can't stop dancing on the grave of the all-female reboot of "Ghostbusters."

Despite making $180 million worldwide at the box office and having a 73% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the MRC -- led by right-wing movie critic Christian Toto, who blogs at NewsBusters -- pronounced it a flop because it didn't make back all its filmmaking and marketing expenses and because it was too feminist for the right-wing MRC boys, with Toto insisting in his ideologically motivated review that it relied on "victimization storylines ripped from today’s snowflake-encrusted headlines."

Toto, apparently, isn't done bashing the film. His Dec. 17 NewsBusters post takes a gratiutous shot at director Paul Feig: "Paul Feig can rock a finely tailored suit. He’s far less comfortable defending his Ghostbusters reboot." He then whines that Feig is "insisting recasting an iconic male comedy with women isn’t political. Hogwash."

Toto also sneers at Feig for noting that women were inspired by the movie and told him that If I’d had this movie when I was younger, I would have been an engineer or a scientist now": "Really? Young women need a silly comedy about women busting ghosts to influence their careers? Was the film truly a scientific inspiration, or just a FX-laden lark? Young girls who never saw the new Ghostbusters simply couldn’t imagine a career in science?"

Toto backed off the bashing a bit by the end, conceding that Feig is a "big league talent" who "deserves credit for proving to Hollywood that women can lead major franchises without apology" -- despite the fact the much of his post is devoted to complaing that Feig isn't apologizing for his "Ghostbusters" treatment. But he makes sure to conclude with a parting shot: "He’s still not seeing the wreckage that is the Ghostbusters reboot clearly."

Actually, it appears that Toto is the one who's not seeing things clearly, so blinded by his Breitbart-inspired right-wing ideology that he's unable to keep from injecting in his movie reviews.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EST
WND's Hohmann Fears Trump Won't Hate Muslims As Much As He Promised
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The panic is almost palpable from Leo Hohmann in his Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article:

Donald Trump made statements to Time magazine in its “person of the year” article that reverberated with great trepidation across red states that elected him the next president of the United States just one month ago.

The president-elect promised to “work something out” for so-called “dreamers,” brought here illegally as children by their parents.

“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Trump’s advisers scrambled to walk back his comments, with one transition aide demanding anonymity to deny that Trump intended to set any new policy, CBS News reported.

The comments to Time add to the growing uneasiness among conservatives wary that Trump might not fulfill some of his most basic campaign promises.

Will he build the wall? Will he rescind Obama’s DACA edict offering amnesty to young illegals? Will he deport illegal aliens, or at least the 2 to 3 million criminal aliens?

Will he halt or at least reduce the number of Muslim migrants coming to the U.S. every year on green cards, a number that has soared to more than 130,000 annually under President Obama, or will he settle for “extreme vetting?”

Extreme vetting, after all, would have stopped few if any of the recent Muslim terror attacks on U.S. soil – the Boston Marathon bombing, the Chattanooga shooting, the University of California Merced knife attack, the San Bernardino shooting, the Orlando nightclub massacre, the St. Cloud mall attack, the Manhattan pipe-bombing, or the Ohio State knife attack. All of these attacks were carried out by young men who migrated to the U.S. when they were boys, too young to establish any vettable history, or were born here to immigrant parents.

Hohmann -- WND's resident Islamophobe masquerading as a reporter with standards -- really is afraid that Trump won't hate Muslims as much as he promised during the campaign ... and, more importantly, as much as Hohmann does.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EST
The MRC's Latest Heathering Target: A Conservative Blogger Who Won't Blindly Support Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

Conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin has regularly been a target of the Media Research Center's Heathering -- its campaign of attacking conservatives it deems insufficiently loyal to right-wing orthodoxy. For example, the MRC's Tim Graham complained that Rubin in 2012 said that "every conservative presidential contender was unelectable except Mitt Romney, who was neither conservative nor electable, as it turned out" (though the latter didn't stop the MRC from supporting him in the 2012 election), and that she said mean things about Ted Cruz (who turned out in 2016 to be the former but most definitely not the latter).

Rubin and MRC chief Brent Bozell once held the same belief about Donald Trump: that he was neither conservative nor electable. Bozell changed his mind about that, embracing the "electable" part and all too happy to let conservative purity slide (the siren call of a certain big-bucks MRC donor and Trump supporter seems to have played a role), while Rubin remained a Trump critic through the election.

Cue the Heathering, because apparently it's conservative to embrace the pursuit of power over deeply held principles. And Rubin got a chunk of it during the campaign for failing to climb aboard the Trump train:

  • In August, Brad Wilmouth sneered that she was an "allegedly right-leaning columnist" and complained that she (accurately) pointed out that Steve Bannon, before joining Trump's campaign, ran a website that "attracted a very anti-Semitic, anti-minority clique called the 'alt-right.'"
  • In October, P.J. Gladnick derided Rubin as "'conservative' in the same sense that David Brooks is 'conservative,'" then rather narrowly focused on a tiny part of a Rubin appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" in which she "struggled in a most hilarious fumbling way ... to find a quote where the host supposedly made excuses for 'lock her up'" while ignoring that that she called Bill O'Reilly out for his pro-Trump bias.

When Rubin wouldn't stop criticizing Trump even after his election victory, Rubin remained a Heathering target. In a Nov. 20 post, Wilmouth made his snide "allegedly right-leaning" comment again as he groused that Rubin "played the racism card" by (correctly) pointing out that Trump's immigration policy is obsessed with Mexicans.

On Nov. 26, Trump fanboy and apologist Jeffrey Lord called Rubin an "establishment Republican columnist" and bizarrely claimed she was "normalizing racism" by pointing out that Trump's base of Republican support is "White, unhinged men, most well past their prime, acting abusively toward women."Lord ranted that "The line was so casually racist, sexist and ageist," while quickly changing the subject to Michelle Obama taking her daughter to a concert by Beyonce and Jay-Z.

And on Dec. 11, Wilmouth was back to sneer once again that Rubin is "allegedly right-leaning" and complain that Rubin (accurately) pointed out that Trump's Cabinet picks included "ignoramuses, billionaires, and a few generals." Wilmouth didn't dispute any of it -- he's just mad she said it in public, apparently.

That's the price Rubin is paying for holding to the conservative prinicples Bozell abandoned in a pursuit of power -- which makes all the MRC's sneering that she's "allegedly" conservative all the more sadly ironic.

Expect much more of this as the Trump presidency continues -- and sooner rather than later. A Dec. 19 CNN Money article details her journey from Romney shill to Trump critic, and she has a few choice words for her fellow conservatives, particularly the ones at a certain media watchdog group:

After frequently complaining about the press coverage of Romney in 2012, Rubin now sees problems with the right's media criticism.

"I think it's very difficult for many in the conservative movement to get away from this obsessive blame the mainstream media habit," she said. "I don't think it's particularly productive. I think there is bias, and there's also good honest reporting. Of course, in this election, Trump blames the media for accurately reporting and playing back what he has said."

Tim Graham's probably sharpening up his Heathering stick as we speak.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2016 12:09 AM EST
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
So, WND, About Those '10 Experts and Analysts Who Doubt Obama's Birth Certificate'...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article, published along with last week's bogus birther presser, touts "10 experts and analysts who doubt Obama's birth certificate," declaring:

Is President Obama’s White House-released birth certificate really just a forgery and one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the American people?

At least 10 researchers, analysts and document experts have questioned the validity of the birth certificate Obama released online in 2011.

but a closer look at these "experts and analysts" reveals a much different story -- one that WND doesn't want to tell.

First up is Ron Polland, who WND claims is "known for his forensic investigation of Obama’s short-form birth certificate, constructed from scratch a duplicate of the document released by the White House, seeking to validate his contention that it was created by a forger." It goes on to claim that "Polland demonstrated that during the 2008 presidential election race, the Obama campaign posted an image of a short-form Obama Certification of Live Birth that actually was a forgery created by Polland, not a scan of an original certificate obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health.

In fact, as Dr. Conspiracy documents, it's far from clear that the Obama campaign ever posted Polland's fake document, and Polland never offered definitive proof of it. As far as Polland's "forensic investigation of Obama’s short-form birth certificate" -- done under the pseudonym "Polarik" -- that investigation was definitively discredited.

Next up is Mara Zebest, "a nationally recognized computer expert who served as contributing author and technical editor for more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software." As we noted when WND dragged her along for its birther lawsuit dog-and-pony show in 2011, we could find no documented expertise in PDF files or the Adobe Acrobat software used to create them (though she claimed she had some). She also claimed that the long-form Obama birth certificate was created in Adobe Photoshop, even though the document's properties show it was created in a different program.

Then there's this guy:

WND reported when Ivan Zatkovich, of Tampa-based eComp Consultants, analyzed the analyzed the various layers in the PDF file released by the White House, and concluded: “The content clearly indicates that the document was knowingly and explicitly edited and modified before it was placed on the web.”

Zatkovich later told Dr. Conspiracy that WND's report on his findings was cherry-picked for the most damning evidence, and that he actually concluded that "All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document." WND also wouldn't publish the full report Zatkovich provided to WND, presumably for those reasons.

And another old friend pops up:

As WND reported, Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Obama in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities.

As we documented, Adams first started making his claims on a white nationalist radio show, and Adams was never in any top-level election position while in Hawaii -- his boss confirmed he was a temp, a low-level data-entry clerk. And that affidavit? It was proffered by WND itself; Adams confirmed that "someone associated with WorldNetDaily" drew it up and had him sign it.

WND rattles through a few more so-called "experts" like Doug Vogt, Karl Denninger, Tom Harrison, Israel Hanukoglu and Paul Irey. Needless to say,  WND has censored any mention of the evidence that discredits these "experts."

The article is padded out with Joe Arpaio and posse leader Mike Zullo.

In short: They aren't "experts," they're conspiracy-mongers, and WND has once again tried to give them credibility they haven't earned and don't deserve.

Despite publishing all these birther conspiracies, WND continues to whine about being labeled as a purveyor of fake news. Funny, that.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EST
CNS Is 5 Months Late In Issuing Biased Attack On State Dept.
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman writes in a Dec. 12 article:

According to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the State Department gave $349,276 in U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to a political group in Israel to build a campaign operation, which subsequently was used to try to influence Israelis to vote against conservative Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election for prime minister.

If this story sounds familiar, that's because it is: WorldNetDaily covered it back in July. In other words, the WND-ization of the Media Research Center is continuing apace.

And like WND, Chapman de-emphasizes the fact that the State Department's funding of the Israeli group One Voice had nothing to do with the group's anti-Netanyahu campaign and involved a separate project. Chapman unprofessionally puts in bold italic statements like "OneVoice used the campaign infrastructure and resources built, in part, with State Department grants funds to support V15" but not statements like "no evidence that OneVoice spent grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections."

Chapman also uncritically quotes Republican Sen. Rob Portman saying, "American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them." But Israel as a whole is the ally in question, not just Netanyahu. Is Portman saying that any Israeli politician who opposes Netanyahu is an enemy of the U.S. 

If so, Chapman apparently agrees with the sentiment.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It at WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily complains about being lumped in with providers of "fake news" -- even as it's serving up fake news to its readers. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 AM EST
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
MRC's Bozell Trying to Make Political Hay Over Facebook's Fake-News Fight
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long endeavored to make Facebook's fight against fake news a politically charged one, and is not interested at all in having an honest discussion about it.

So when Facebook announced it would be partnering with the Associated Press, Snopes, FactCheck.org, ABC News, and PolitiFact -- all signatories to Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles -- to target fake news, it worked to make that a partisan issue as well. MRC chief Brent Bozell's initial response to the Facebook announcement was relatively restrained, but he made his political point:

I have been in communication with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook since he announced their new ‘fake news’ initiative. I expressed grave concern with this decision and the liberal 'fact-checking' organizations Facebook has chosen. Mr. Zuckerberg assured me that his express aim is to eliminate only patently false news stories from Facebook. He underscored he has instructed these organizations to focus only on truly fake news and nothing of a political nature. I will accept in good faith his commitment  to address our concerns on this matter. It is my hope this will be the last we say about this issue.

No mention of course, of how Bozell and his group of right-wingers apparently intimidated Facebook so much earlier this year in trying to capitalize on claims that Facebook's trending-news feed was alleggedly biased that it was afraid to make fixes to its news feed during the election that would have curbed fake news on Facebook lest Bozell's brigade use them as a political pinata again.

In other words, Bozell helped create the current fake-news problem, and he has yet to own up to it.

Nevertheless, this is most certainly not the last Bozell has to say on the issue. On Dec. 18, MSNBC's Joy Reid accused Bozell and other conservatives of "essentially sort of conceding the fact that a lot of the things that are put out on the right aren't real, but he wants them to be prominent in people's feeds."

It's an overstated claim but not inaccurate, given Bozell's fervent desire to politicize the issue. Still, the MRC freaked out anyway. Brad Wilmouth huffed: "Reid did not mention concerns by conservatives that Politifact and other third-party groups that would assist Facebook in its fact-checking have a substantial liberal bias, raising doubts about whether they could be trusted to fact-check evenhandedly between right-wing and left-wing news sources."

Then Bozell predictably chimed in, adding a graguitous side shot at former CNN president Jonathan Klein, who was a panelist on Reid's show:

I didn't essentially sort of concede diddly. I expressed that while 'fake news' does exist, and is a problem, and should be stopped, it is also true that there are those on the left politicizing the issue for partisan political gain, and when liberal outlets are assigned fact-checking oversight, that in itself becomes a new problem. I cannot think of a better example than the blather by Joy Reid on Sunday. Her statement was completely false. Should I call it 'fake news'? As for Jon Klein, who cares what he thinks? You can't fall lower than having the title 'former CNN.'

By the way, despite all of their whining, neither Bozell nor the MRC has definitively proven that any of the websites Facebook is using in its fake-news initiative are "liberal outlets." That's simply an extension of its war on facts driven by the need to cover up for Trump's constant lies.

(As part of that, the MRC's Tim Graham on Dec. 16 touted an attack on PolitiFact by right-winger Mollie Hemingway, which is little more than pedantic hair-splitting over Planned Parenthood and mammograms.)

Bozell then ran to the cozy confines of Fox Business to deny what he said earlier about fake news existing and being an actual problem:

But here is the thing, fake news actually in reality it's not that big a deal. The site denverguardian.com, it actually did the best, ranked 92,000 in web traffic. In other words, people go to 91 other sites — 91,000 other sites before they go to this fake one. The Patriot News Agency, another one that’s fake, it ranks nearly 185,000 and has a total of 113 likes — a whopping 113 on Facebook...So real news sites, to keep it in perspective, a site FoxNews.com is in the top of one hundred. So, the point being really no one goes to these fake sites[.]

[...]

Look, fake news exists. It is the story of the Pope endorsing Donald Trump. These are these clickbait organizations, you click on there so they can sell you a product. That is fake news. That needs to be exposed and that needs to be flushed down the toilet, but that’s not a huge issue. If that's all we were talking about, fine, what they’re talking about is going after conservative organizations and conservative thought because it's quote, unquote, fake news.

The MRC cited as evidence an article from the Daily Caller, which got its traffic counts from Alexa -- considered to be a bit dubious -- and which apparently didn't factor traffic counts before the election and traffic referrals from Facebook.

Also, as we've noted, NewsBusters most certainly did push fake news during the election, in the form of the bogus Fox News story about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment.

Bozell then invoked the dark specter of "ultra-liberal billionaire" George Soros and complained that it's the left, not him, that's politicizing the fake news issue:

You're already seeing reporters doing this. MSNBC tried it this morning on me. You now have left-wing organizations influencing the advertising community with some of these fact-checking organizations. They have put Breitbart on the list. They have put my organization — NewsBusters — on the list, so this is censorship. This is serious business and these left-wingers need to be exposed. I hate to say it, this goes all the way to President Obama who’s been using this language. 

The MRC never issued a full correction or apology for promoting the bogus Fox News story. Unless Bozell can fully come to terms with his own organization's role in pushing fake news for the benefit of Trump, he has no moral high ground he can occupy on this issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EST
WND Repeats Botched Attacks on Media Matters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let's see how much Bob Unruh gets wrong in just the first two paragraphs of his Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily article, shall we?

Media Matters, the far-left organization that monitors media, was caught a few years ago promoting as fact the disputed claim that the White House talking points on the Benghazi attack were edited to preserve a criminal investigation.

Then it was caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic, and later founder David Brock admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack, apparently in defiance of federal requirements that nonprofits avoid taking sides.

The first paragraph links as evidence to a 2013 WND article by Aaron Klein, who was attacking a Media Matters e-book debunking myths about Benghazi. Klein did indeed dispute theclaim that the talking points were "edited to preserve a criminal investigation," he does not prove it wrong -- he offered only contradictory speculation. Media Matters pointed that out again in an article critiquing Klein's own Benghazi book published in 2014.

Unruh's claim that Media Matters was "caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic" is itself a falsehood. He linked to a 2014 WND article noting a separate Media Matters critique of Klein's Benghazi book,  taking issue with a statement that Klein "suggested that [former CIA deputy director Michael] Morell was ‘given’ his new job at the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies (co-founded by Philippe Reines, a Clinton adviser), ‘in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal.'” WND huffed in response: "Klein’s book never states Morell was 'given' his job, nor does the quote 'in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal' appear anywhere in the book."

In fact, as we documented at the time, the following line appears on page 177 of Klein's "The Real Benghazi Story": "Morell later reemerged as a counselor to Beacon Global Strategies, a consult group particularly close to Hillary Clinton. Was Morell given this job in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal?" Apparently WND didn't read the book it published.

The claim that Brock said Media Matters "admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack" is simply bad reporting. Unruh links to a June 2015 article by Cheryl Chumley making the claim.

But Chumley quotes Brock discussing how "our organizations ... have led the way in exposing the fraudulence of the Benghazi investigation itself." As he hinted at -- and which Chumley apparently didn't understand because she didn't look into the statement -- Brock runs a number of organizations, one of which is Correct the Record, whose pro-Hillary bent has been pronounced. It's also run separately from Media Matters and has a different tax status that permits increased political advocacy.

(We'd also add that Media Matters is "far-left" only in the eyes of far-righters like Unruh.)

After these two paragraphs of fake news, Unruh uniroinically complains that Media Matters is changing its focus to more closely examine fake news, going on to whine: "Media Matters’ idea of 'fake news,' however, is more along the lines of the Drudge Report; WND, the online news pioneer that is approaching its 20th anniversary; Breitbart; and other Internet media outlets that compete successfully with America’s establishment media."

Well, yes, because WND publishes so much of it. Remember when WND columnist Jack Cashill published a badly Photoshopped picture to back up his utterly false claim that a picture of a young Barack Obama and his grandparents was itself badly Photoshopped (except that the photo he claimed wasn't Photoshopped somehow contained Obama's knee)? Good times.

(Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST

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